thefli. Hy morher ynuld never let ne res6 them at
home. I used to get Argogy when Tarian of Ihe
Apes Hag beinj prlnred and JiTde Ihem under the
bed but I hadn't had much pulp experience belore
I started writing rhem,
DEVEN^'; When you were writing, cfid you jusi
do aorro refidlng to see whal the competition wet
JOHVSON: nh, [ 'd do that occaaionaHy, yas.
SurCf and whan friends had sturies than I'd read
those. But [ didn'l resd very widely.
riuPPAV: And you didn't have much copipeMtlon
eilher. ] mean you were uritlnfl for Iha top mage-
iinea in the *ie[d, right?
JDHnsoN: The reagjjn ] did Eher wa^ \'ia a
5lDw Writer. H you can write fagtj snd a Lot of
writarB can-- Ir Jusr breeze? out--1 t tap? tha
right &lde of your brain I guc^s, which I've nev-
er been able to do. Bo ihey can afford to write
tor the cent-fl-word markets which dldn'r require
as meticulous a Btorv. The two-cent martats re-
quired you to do a fairly good compLerE ^toryF
And ] could make a living writing those.
HURRAY: 1 think Rusty had a question.
tusrt HEVELIM: Johnny, over the years you've
taLked ahoui your book on the pulps. Can you tell
UE the current status on that?
JDhfHBOM: Oh, yeah. [ -finally decided to do
a book on the writing Life aa I and a few friend?
have known it. And ] titled it lentaf ively, . .
what did \ title It?
WURRA'': They Don't Want l_f Good, B-gy ^g.n.t
J_t Tuesday , wa9 that it7
JDHMSON: They Don't Ugnt l_t Good. They Want
J_t Uadnesday - Yeah. it kind of catch- phrasas
Ihe time that they had. So^ I wrote the thing
and 1 sold half a doien chapters of it to half a
doien different magazines, but I have not yet
fiold the hook. [ think I'll redo the book. ]
wrote that four years ago and some things have
happened in tha tour years and I ran across a few
mistakes that T made In there too that I can
HUPRAY: So, If you started writing profas-
sionaLLy In 19?5--nQw that you know you were
first published in I^ZS-^BnO we're coming up on
^99S, your Writing cai-eer ha;; spanned^ is that 70
JDHFiSOhT If you think about It, that's pret-
HURBAYi seventy years of writing and you're
stin doing it- (applause]
JfJHMsDhJ: I'm wriring children'^ books with
my wife now. She does the pictures and I do tha
writing. It's a marriage-wrecking relationship
becauae I want more space for writing and she
wants noro space for pictures, [laughter] To
show you how uncertain thlnss are 1n the writing
game, 1 did a children's story about thirty years
ago, sent It out 33 times, and just finally sold
it. It's a Very untEriain life,
HUPPAY: You haven't done badly yet.
J0HN5DM: I always enjoyed It, that time and
AL TDNIfi: I don't knot; if you msntfonod hmw
many total stories Ryerson had dona.
JDHNSOhL Gee, L dun't knowmyaeLf.
MURRAY: [ don't knov and I knew he wouldn't
knov. He writas them. He doesn't count them.
TdMIK: Hotf many did /ou do of rhe mounted
pal Ice variety
JDHNSOV: Oh, I'd say around forty maybe. How
does that sound? Forty or so, forty or fifty. ]
wrote hundreds of WE^tern srorlea before J start-
ed moving into boo>: length. One of the fir^t
book lengths I did vas a mystery novel for Gold
Medal. They said, "QK, we tike the mystery novel,
we like the novel, but Instead of having two men
compere for ihis woman^ let's have two women com-
pete for a man." Uell, that means throwing out
one main character and inventing anoiher one.
rhey talked like J wa? going to do It over ihe
weetendl [laughter] To do that, you've got to
also fi? the whole lengih of The story to conform
the characters. You do what you have to do.
MURRAY: fou had a brief brush wilh Hollywood
>ilIRlJAY: Tetl us some of those sforles,
jOHhSDh: I waited too long to go out thero.
By the time I got out there, practically all the
money writers in rha country were out there, like
Dave [brasher who used to write "Mikfl Shayna."
I'll tell you how fast things wort in Hollywood.
I krote a script for "Mike Shayne." I took It
up. They accepted it and put Ir in their drawer.
They ^aid If the show goes another bunch at seg-
mente, we'll buy It. On the basit of that I wenT
back home to Illinois and watched the trade maga-
zines and Sure enough the "Hihe Shayne" series
did go another fourteen segments. So, 1 phoned
them up and ihey said, "Sure, come along, we're
about to do the story." [ went back and went
into tha office and I dldn'T recognlte anybody in
there, T told them the story about the way I'm
telling It id you and the a^y reached in tha
drawer and pulled out a manuscript and ho said^
"Is this It?" T said, -sure, sure." And I'm
pushing the manuscript at him and he's pushing It
Bt me. [laughter] He said, "Ue didn't like
enact ly- -Our sponsor didn't like e*Bctly--the way
the show was going and we brought in all our nekf
people, Ue don't Want to read anything that was
done before that." So that was the end of that,
HUflPAV: Didn't you have an interesting inci-
dent at a party where a screen writer practically
threatened you because he thought you were. ..go
ahead tell the story,
JOHK^OM: Hart kJeislnger came out there about
rhe time J was there. He was working on "Super-
man" for television. And there was somebody out
there, r don't remember his name now, but this
guy hosted one of tho^e Hollywood parties- They
do have them-- they' re good. Haughterl 7his guy
assumed because Mort Ueisinger came out there at
about the same time I did--| didn't even know he
was there then--that he hod brought me out there
to write some of thU "Superman." So the host at
this party come up and grabbed ma like this and
said, "Johnsonj'* ha said, "you 're a mellow guy,
you come on nice, I like you. However, 1 want
all the "Superman" storleSj all of them, under-
stand? Have a drink. Fnjoy your lunch." [laugh-
HURRAY: 1 love that story. Right there,
FRAMK nOBINSDN! Vou mentioned paperback
booksr Have yuu written many paperback novels?
JoHhSDh: There Weren't so very many. [
uroTe three or four of my own and 3 ghosted half
a dozen or more and that's about it on paper-
ROBINSON: Who'd yuu ghost for?
JOHNSON: Lester Dent on Doc Savage and Dave
fresher on Hichael Shsyne.
MURRAY: You did a boy's book series under
your own name- Bob Blake, that was it, in the
JOHNSON: Yeah. [ did a bunch of teen and
pre-teen jnysterles wirh Bruno Fischer, Is Bruno
slfU around? Doos snybody know for EurtT
UNKMOWN: Ves. ha i&.
JDHn&ON: He E^, t^eLI. J bought stories from
Sruno Hh?n ] b'ss editinir at Popular. And ws could
aiuays r^ll a BrUn? story because ebnut th? time
it got thrEE quartern oF Che wEy Through it HouEd
^pEEd Up. And you could juat see Bruno get the
feeling, "Gee, I only got s fe« ihuusand mare
fiords to SD end I got to get bIL thia good stuff
In." [laughter! He*d get if Pn. Anyw^Vp after
ihai 1 started to do ^Dm? writing and Bruno
started editing- Ue did shift araund Chat hb/ b
gogd deal. And Bruno fsnted me to «ork for Cat'
Eiei — they uerp gonna have a bunch Df papar-back^.
He sQid he vianted Thiriy nf thefli. rfiiriy younfl
dduLt pEperbanks as fsst as I could do them. I'm
neE a iast i^riter, ai | ay. Sn, I wrat? sevEn
and he said stop until they got the distribution
worked out. Veil they never did get the distri-
bution worked aut^ so That'^ ai far as the ^erlES
HUPRAYi And they puhHfihed hou raany, tliref?
JOHNSOH: Four. I birote seven^ they pub-
lished four. And I ' ve got the rights beck on
than nou and actuaLLy what J'm da1nu is dhangfng
then from UASPy Bob BlakE tq Jusn Perez, uhuae
father is a professor at the University of Puerto
l^icOf and J'n going to try to te^eII &aniE at
NURBAY: Voj did a number of things for Gold
riedaL, the Fawcett line^ in the fifties.
JDHVSON: I did a histaricaL novel--
HUBPAY: --histDr ical , "Misg is^ippi - -
JOHNSOHt --"Mississippi Flame-" That's the
one that they kranled me to have tua Momen after
MURRAt; T?dh, and then you did a bunch of
those sort of semi-hard boiled tind of seKy no-
vels for, uas it, Cold HEtfal?
jOHhSOM: Yes, Gold Medal.
HURRAY: And vas the other one Red Circle or
jaHri&CN: Rad seal.
HURRAT: Rad Seal, right.
JOHNSON: One of them, "tady in Uread," for
Gold Medal. Yau get your ideas for stories from
everywhere- On this occasion J ueni through
Springfield, lU inois, and Che caps had the
streets all cordoned oft; they^d cordoned o+t the
square and there was an ouL or T guess it was ■
havl: Ihat would Leap from the top of the flag
pole along about si' n'clnck and go after a spar'
row underneath the courthouse eves. There were
three or four hundrsd pegpte there wailing for
the hawk to dive for the spsrraw. And it occurred
to me at that time that there must be some angle
there Ihat you can work a story out on; Thar ih?
hunane society would probably sooner or later buy
into that situation. So, three years later I got
the id$a--ED whEn thE hawk dives after the spar-
roM, [ had somebody stabbed in the crowd down
there and when the crowd separates he's gat a
knife in his back. And you're into your story,
But I felt that the humane society wasn't tough
enough to throw their weiflhc around tor a whole
book So I had a U.B. narcotics man pretending to
be a humane society deiective to solve the crime.
HU^tRAT: Tou had one other novel, "South to
Sanora,'* which you did as a pulp story. Someone
reprinted it In the forties. You only found thai
out about five or siii years ago.
JDHMSDN: Sonebody brought ma a book to sign
today that I'd never hEad of, | didn'i know I
had sold that book. [laughter] Apparently E
^□Id it tc Paperback and it cane out in a series
that [ never knew anything about.
KURRAYj &oy, they keep slipping these things
past you, dan^t they? Ilaughter) Let's have Aomo
mure questions. Right there, Sheldon,
SHELDON JAFFfBYi Yeohj Johnny. Going back
to the days wlien you were a Hew forV cowboy, did
you ever become acquainted with some of the other
top western wriiprg such as Ernest Haycn*--
JDHHSDN: --No, those western guys drdn^F
come to Hew lork very often and ] mer very few of
Ihem. I knew the new Tork croud.
SEVERAL IM AUDIENCE: Uho were Some of the
olher hew York crowd?
JOHNSOH: Arthur J. Burks, Frank Gruber,
JUE.iU5 SCHUARTZ: --tell us about those
meetings you had at the American Fiction Guild.
Were you trying to organite a guild to gEt belter
rates or what?
JOHNSON: No, it was just a bunch of guys--
Arthur Burks practically mastErminded the Ameri-
can Fiction Guild. We met in Vew York every week
at a restaurant in Times Square. Ron Hubbard was
□na of the writers at this rime and one of the
members of this organi iat ion- He later became
president of the Guild for a short time. Frank
Gruber was another member- 'Cruber went to Hotly-
Wood about the time you should go to Mollywaod
and caught on fine. I had a letter from Dorothy
KcH vaine who edited Short Stgrigs , She said,
"Ciruber's coming back and he read your story and
he llhea it and he thinks he ceft do something
with ir in Kollyvood." Dk. So on that assurance
I called up Gruber and he said yeE he's coming so
I thought the proper HollywDod touch would be to
do something a little out of the pattern. ] got
a bunch of ballooris. It was just after the war
and they were making ballaonE for the first time.
So, 1 walked down rhe street where I lived to the
Commodore Hotel with a hunch of ballnona. [
bought them for frank, for his boy, and he liked
them fine, but Fran* broke practically all of
them. Uhy I tell that story I don't l:nQW.
HUffRAT: Another question. Right there,
DARRELL R| CHARDSaFt: Frank Gruber and Steve
Fisher were great friends of *laii Brand, whosa
real name we know was Frederick fausl. Did you
ever meet Faust?
JOHNSON: No, I never did. r admired him
greatly, but I never met him- I didn't know thai
Uruber and Ff^her knew hl|ii--T knew bolh o' Ihose
boyA qui is well .
nCCHjklfP^QN: Us was kind of a nLv^lenou^
character, rj+ course, even in those dtyi.
jaHNSDk: ah yes.
PJCHARD^ON: He wrote under 19 mmss .
JDHNSDNJ Hi? d I dn ■ t cams la N^w Tnrk ai far
es 1 tnoM when I wa^ there.
>iUffRfli! red U5 about the ti^e Leaier Dent
took you up for a ride in his airplane.
JOilVSON: Waoflhi (Laughrer] Les had e plane
and ha took me up and he «dld, "Kow I'm going to
show foxj some nf the things y^iu ^hcuLdn't do if
you ever have a plane of your own," [laugfiterl
So, hff stsrtad up and ha had The airplane angled
ebout like zbis and ue de^d panned up there and
uenf down like that. Lester turned to me end
Hsid, "The lirat halt dozen men this happened ta
alt died becatiae rhay did cha wrong Thing,
flaughcer] Ydu circle this way and iliey had b
tendency to go thnf way to gst out of the spin,
Uhat you're suppc^ed to do |e turn the way you're
spinning," which he did and landed alright, hut E
ua^ di?2y For two hours. ]t wa^ a duuble-pi ane,
BO I'm handling the controls on one srde--he ^ug-
gaatad I do thi&--and ^o ue^re travelUng alonQ
end lie says, "Are you content wItJi everything, is
Bverything ok?" 1 said yeah, a^ far n^ [ know.
And he says, "look at your wing," Uell «e are
angled ever about liks this and E couldn't even
tell it. [laughter]
fO/iHK ROQIP^SO)]: You ^aid you knew Hubbard in
New Tort. What kind of a guy ua^ he^ Pafticularly
dS e production writer?
JOHN50h: Dh he uiafi really a good writer and
a faat produttion man. He turned than out. But
tJiere was none cf this we didn't foresee the
Sci antoltgy/D 1 aner if s stuff that ua^ going to
develop from Ron's eBrly life. He was just ano-
ther ana o' the boy^ ae far aa I or anybody kneu
RDBIN5DN: He gave no indication of'-
JOHNSON: --nothing about Ron at all that you
could tell he wb& gonna be effectively d guru for
the science fiction people- Ue just didn'T bep
HURRAY: Didn't he tell you once about what
h? called the God game?
JOHNSCkN: He went to HoKywood belcre any ol
the rest of u^ did and he fajne back just singing
the praises of Hollywood and yeah, he thought we
were making s mistake messing eruund with pulp
fiction and he didn't write that Und of £tut(
very Tnuch longer. Von I don't know the trvlh or
the thing, but Campbell in iftETDundIng Stories .. .
£cuttlebulE gea^ Hubbard had written a story
called "Dinnetics" for Astounding ^ Does anybody
knew, ua^ there ever a story doneJ
HURRAY: Yeati, "Dl anei 1 cs, " H was an arti-
cle, not a story.
JOHU50N: Uas there a afory called that'
^LiRltAV: No, it was an article. J thin^ 1t
Uas B series of articles. I think he revealed
the truth of sclenlolosv and dianetics in As-
JOHNSOH: Oh, well ihat'^ where It started I
Bue?^. Then Cempbell said, "Look, th^s is hoi,
we've got more letters on this than anything
we've ever printed- Uhl le it's hot I thinl: we
barter turn tt into a book," snd dIanetiCB hap-
HURPflYi Well, you continued getting Christ-
ma? carda from Hubbard up until the time he died.
He stayed in rocch with you although you hadn't
teen him far years.
JCiHK5':>Nt I wUh T cDuld find Them now.
MURRAY: Another pulp writer, Arthur BUrka,
kind of followed in Hijbbard'^ footarap^. You
came across Burks some years later at a sort of
spir llualiai neetlni--teU us the Art Burhs
JDHWSOW: reah. He was i, fast, fasT writer,
New Yorker's thought that he was "King of the
Pulps," he could write go fa$t- But he got io he
couldn't write any more, he was just atucJi. ]
wss Up In hl5 roofn one day end he said, "look, ]
made a deal with the 'Fleetwood Airplane Company
Co go to Venezuela ta Ido4 for Redfern," who ^aa
an aviatpr who had disappeared the year before In
the Venezuelan jungle. And there was a inove fa
popularise the Fleetwood Airplane Company, Burks
never really eJipecred lo find Hedfern, i do be-
Lieve. But Burh:E said "Look, 1 need two more
hundred dollars." 1 don't know why he needed two
more hundred to clinch this deal, but I happened
TO have iZOQ at that time. [ ga^e Ic to Burks on
the assuTnnce that [ could go with him to Vene-
zuela to help him look for Pedfern. Uell, about
thar Time | jor a letter from e gin i knew In
Duluth, Loi5. And, she was coining back to New
York and J graetly eateemed Id[&. And I began to
wander if I'm in Veneruela looking far fJedfern
when sha geti^ back from Europe, will &he welt
till 1 get back or not. She didn't know me well
enough that [ could be sure. So, E stayed in hew
York and Burks ueni out to look for Radfern and r
waited for Lois who is my wife for fifty years
now, [appl ausp]
Abl lUueH Caing On r'rr an Emply Chnrt Toum^LEoalteoyw
HUHPAY: So, tell UB the Etary of how you
bumped into Biirks years Later.
JOHNSON: Years later, in Chicago, Illinois,
there Was advertised a apLrltualist meeting of
iouie kind or other. People frofn the university
were going to be there. And I aau the name Burks^
bur 1 didn't altach any significance to it at
that time. But when ] went to that meeting and
here Is aid Arthur Burks up on the platform. He's
talking, talking and talking, and ^vfry once in a
while he saya, "riello Johnny,'* under his breath
just to let me Itnow ihat he knew ] was there and
don't say anything to mesa this up. [laughter]
HURRAf: Uas he calling himselt Professor
Burta at that Efme?
JOHh^SON: teah. Prafcsaor Juries. Sa I Eaid
nothing, of tourEe, buT aftar ft ^a? auer he pbiti?
down and shaak hands erid talked jusl a little
bil. Sut VDry quictlv f^S had to aQ--he Had ^
line uf people k^aiting to get life readinEfs from
him. [Laughter! i nas impressed by his change
MURRAf: That*^ somerhlng he may hav? Lparn#d
from Hubbard^ he ]usi yent in ^ slightly diffe-
rent dire<:tit}n with it. (laughterj
JDtfhJSDN^ We uere good frianda.
HUPI^AY: Did you know Donald Keyhoa?
JoHhEQFl: No^ [ did naf.
HUPRAV: He went into flying Eoucar^ uhen Che
pulp; died. Ha uas uriririg aviar^on aruff and
Hh«n tha pulpa died ha baratna big In flying sauc-
er circles- 5d, but for the grace of Gad, you
nighl «ao Profa^aor Johnson ^paating at a Naw 4ga
convention instead of having fun here, (laughter)
You probably would make more money at It too.
JOHNSON: It bauldn't be so much fun.
HUVRAY: Any more que^tlona?
DDN HurcHlSGN: Did you aver have Eo po^a as
a ve^terner, i^ou know, fur autobiographical pur-
posa£--you know hov you used to raad llEtla au-
thor squibs In Adventure ?
JOHhSDtf; rou wera ^upposad to urEia a Latter
once in a yhile so that your resders would know
what kind of d guy It is that writes these stor-
ias. So [ was always riding sround on a hor^e and
rustling cows somewhere in the letter, [laugh-
ter] They preferred that you write it that way.
I'd take pansengera up into the Canadian wilds
loo. vhich I never did. [laughter]
MURRAY: Well, Lester [rent was a resl west-
erner, he greu up an ranchaE in Wyoming and nkla-
hone. Did he ever talk to yuur about his western
stories versus your^T
HUBBAT: No? He never said, "rnu're a New
jDrk tawboy, you don't know how it realLy--
J0HN5ON: --no, no, no. He Uas less interest-
ed in this stuff than I wasi [laughter]
^URR4V: Uffll, I think we^re going To urap it
up at thi« point btcairsp time is running Dirt'-oh,
a question, [ thought you were signalling pe with
the honk, Pusty-
JOHUSON: I juBt want to say ono thing. Ever
sincB I camp to my first Pulpcon^ it's Just a
dlffereni yurld. I'm caught up in nD^TaL^rc ran-
Inistes all rhl^ tltna and you folts here are so
nicely verged in this never-never land of the
pulps that I don't know what's going on outside.
[ haven't read a paper--the stock market could
have collapsei;^, there could be a war, and [
wouldn' t know- fapp laurel
HUffRAfz Ru^ty, you had a queBtinn.
ROSIT HEVELIN: I do have a question- There
are a number of peopLe here who have been prerty
active in the science fiction field and you re-
ferred earl ier to the fact that somebody said
don't get into that^ there's no future. How did
ynu feeC uhen every other pulp tnagerine died ex-
cept for science fiction niaga?lna^7 [Laughter]
joknsdhj Dh, I love it because I like sci-
ence fiction. But [ uas sorry J Ier rhem talk me
out of thaE- A lot of the evperrs are wrong
aren't they? Quite often^ | guesa in any field.
] got an idea alt of a sudden when ] got Inter-
ested in jfljz muaic. I thoughtj "DK, there isn't
much being written about jaii music. I'll be the
interpreter of jajz music for America." So I had
B good agent in New ^ark at that Eime, Paul Pey-
nalds. Ideally one of the best. [ went to Paul
with a story about Jan. "Pops, That's Solid" |
think WDS the title. And he told nie--J remember
his word5--he said, "Jaii is not enough of an
Indigenr^us port of the American scene. You'll
never make a living Writing jaZZ Storlea."
riauahterl Haw Indigenous can yau be?
MUl^RAT; What year was that?
JOHMSON: Well, right after ihat "Toung Han
With a Horn" came out and we were on our Hay-
But I took his word for it and didn'E write any
more jazz stories. Elaughter}
Murratt Frank, you have a quesrion?
ftlAHK RtJSTMSON: I jU5t wanted to say that
Johnny is a legend in his own time. [*m sure that
bU of us here appreciate it, but just before
Pulpcon ] hod five people avfr to the house. One
was Gene Minger, who worked for Johnny on ency-
c[DpediaB in Dhicago. One was Larry [Javldson,
who had interviewed Johnny for KTFA in Berkley,
BnaEh?r va^ BilE Pronzlnl who is a mystery story
writer and h:nows Johnny well and another guy was
Charlie Hardou, who also wrires mysterlaB, who
claimed rhst Johnny gsve him his stort. And [ was
on the outside--! had jUst met Johnny ^t Pulpcgn,
[laughter] [t Has the Ryerson Johnson appreclB-
t Ion society.
JOHN&OM: Thank you.
HURRAYj Another queetion out there? Go
JULIUB SCHkJARl?: [ t occurred to me, since
you knew Hort Weisinger and Jack Schiff so well
from the Standard maga^'rnas, when they went over
to DC Domics, did they try to persuade you to
write any comics, or did you or HhaI7
JQHNSON; Not for E [ong while, but finally
SCHHART2: what did you urite?
JOHKSOK: Oh, I Hrote a Hhole bunch of them,
lite '►Gangbiislers," "Hister District flllornay,"
"Dale fvans.*' They gave me e picture of Dale
Evans to inspire me. Uaughter]
MURRAf: Were you inspired?
JOHNSON: I liked her better than the horses!
RUSTT HEVfllN: How wai Dale Evans, Johnny?
daJLNSQN: Well, r did introduce one new thing
wiEh Dale EvanB. I brought her in an uncle who
lassoed things from his wheelchair- - J got him a
motorized wheelchair and we drove him down the
hill Lassoing cowb and shooting off hia gun.
HURRAY: UncLe ^ix something^ I think he was
JC>H»JSOW: : think he va^-
HURBAY: You aLeo did rhe tfyomlng K\6. in 7hf
tJorLd'a tinesT,, because [ ^e« one oi the Issues.
JOHNSOH: V/oming K|d--[ did b bunch of rha^e.
HUPRAYr Did yau crealE Ihal character?
JOHNSaN: »a, I didn't create it,
HURRAY J HD, yotr just -role II. Yqu did
kBstern conics' -
JDWNSON: --ifie creation hbs oU decided h^
the people behind the desJij wasn't it Julie?
SCHWARTZ: The editors did all the creeMng
in those day^, not the writer.
JDHMEOK: They did everything. One lime I
had an Arab dayn on his praytr rug end aumebady
Came up and ihot him in the bach and Morr &aid,
"Qh Johnny^ Jebua/' he said, "you don't shoot a
man on hit hnly rug. You wait fill he gpts off
the rug and then ahoDt hfrir" [laughter]
MURRAY: He didn't Hunt to offend anybody,
huh? Did you have a quest I Qn. Doug?
OCliC ELLIS: A Hhile back Johnny, you inen-
tianed to me that you had b book coming oul soon
of uestern stories end of Eotne of your nL>rtJiue&I
JOHriSON: Oh yeah. The Unlversifv of nhio is
bringing aul b biJok--Tl!a Best Western Slorips of.
Ryerson Johnson , they call it. Stuff | urate
fifty years ago. They define West in a pretty
[arge *jay, because ]'ve got s couple of coal nine
stories in there and some northwest stories, Jt'fl
supposed to come out this fall,
HURRA1: Win this be your firat ahorl atory
tol Lect ion?
JOHhSON: Oh, gee. I don't know. [ think It
HURRAY: Seventy yaars out and you've never
dona a coCtection of ahcrt starleB before ihfs?
JQHHSON: I've had a Lot of stories in antho-
MUBPAY! Te5, in Bnthalogles, but his ia a
complete cdL Lett Ion, After seventy years, it's
another f i rsl .
KURRAY: Another question out there? Go
ahead^ Paul .
PAUL HERMAN: As far as these Warthwest
mounted poL ice characters arid western characterE
that you Wrote, Were any of them series charac-
ters or were they all jUEt ±eparste stories?
jOHhEDPJ: Yes, I did a bunch of series char-
acters ell the way ihrouEih, portlcuLarly in the
westerns- Some of the Mounted police too.
HURRAY: TelL us about Ciun Cat Bodman and Len
Sirlngn, and jhn wag the Chinese guy? He uss the
first guy to do Kuna Fu like fn the t^ series.
JOHNSOM: Thai ua^ Uah Lee, He had bIk LfCtte
finger knives and he'd shoot them out as fast as
a guy couLd shoot a bulL^t-
MUPRAY: Tell us about Cun Cat Bodman.
JOHNSON: Then we have Gun Cat Bodman. When
he went into a gun crouch he Leaked like a great
humped cat end his eyes tuired kind of green. He
was "the man with death For siJi Ln his trigger
finger and nine lives to live." [laughter]
hURflfl'Tj I guess Len Siringo was your most
famous western character.
JOHNSON: leah, Len Siringo--] must have done
thirty pf those for SlBT Western . He went eround
righting wrongs in different pL!]ces--ln some loun
Some ouilawE had la^en over the toivn and Len
comes In the guise of s&mebody olso. He'd come
in as a blacksmlih, or dDclDr, or tailor or what-
not. The first part ot the atory he would fight
with the tools of his trade and nobody kneit who
he wag and then his Idenlity is revealed and he
meets everybody in a gunfighs finish.
MUPRAY: Another question? John, go ahead.
JOHR GUNhiaOH: Johnny, did yau ever have any
stories that you submitted and have the editor or
the publisher change your name--glve it a house
JOHNSQNi 1 wrote for a hou^e name sametimea.
Qut I aLyavs knew ] was doing th^t. do they do
thar somet inic^?
(iJ^MNlSaN: oh, yeah,
MURRAY: Sometimes you get two stories iri an
issue, the editor would slap another name an one
JOHNSON: Yeah. Jack Uhitford, he used lo
vrli? little seJ^ stories. He wrote so many that
he would fill magaiines sametimes- -you'd see Jact
Uhllfordj Jack Whitburn, Ford Jack.., [laughter]
MURRAY^ Did yau ever use any pen names? Not
house names, but pen nomesT
JOHNSON: tJo, [ don^i think i ever did.
HUBPAVs Ha, you never did''
JOHMSOM: Mo, Just a house name. L didn't
write anywhere near the uordege that some of the
guys did. Never could write very fast. Never
could spel I either,
HURRAY: Tell us that story.
JOHNSON: | never could apelL good. I hid
5Qld maybe a dolen stories to Western Stories and
I wandered In to talk to the editor. And tho
publisher comes in and I'm introduced and he
says, "Oh yeah boy, you write a good atory but
your spelling is terrible." | must have looked
downhearted at that because he says^ "Oh, don'i
worry^ don't worry^ we can gel UeLaley glrJs and
Harvard bays ta fix ihe spell (ng; Just keep send-
ing lis those good stories.'* [Inughter]
MURRAY: Rd Incentive to learn.
JOHNSOr^: fi4cept the first pago or two. (
made sure rhey all went just right.
HURl^AY: Any more questions out there? Co
At TDNiii! When ynu wrote the Phentom Detec-
tive^ did you have Hr. Eioldsmith check it out for
JOHNSON: Ho, you just wrote it; I wrote for
Leo Kargul lea,
HUPfiAT: You worlted directly with Leo Hargu-
Lies--that wasn't Mort or Jack 5chiff7
JDHNSOhi Ho, ] worired >-ith Jack a bit but
not on that.
JULJUS SCHVAHTZ: UhST year was iNstT
5CHVAtni-. Hort weni until 1940 when he Went
into the army, then Jack Schiff came in. And that
was in the early forilea, SD you must have worked
kith Leq Hargulies,
JOHNSON: That'a right. Hori was there at the
SCHWARTZ: Do you remember Horace Gold being
JOHNSON: 1 never knew him very welL^ 1 don'l
SCHUAJfTZ: How about Oscar J, Friend; h? was
JOHHsoFi! I knew only a little bit about him,
Thase were good days--lt was a good way to make a
living if you didn't want too much man^y too
MURRAY: Well, I think Chat will about wrap
it up. Johnny, do you have any laat closing
JOHNSOR; Just to thank you guys for having
me here, it's □ beautilul bunch of people and T'm
enjoying it ihuroughly. I don't understand quite
the veneration almost that some people have for
these pulps. We thought they thould be whacked
out and forgotten, [laughter)
AL TONTK: fou whacked 'em out good.
MURRAY: Yeahj you whacked 'em out good, l^eep